“Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married” by Marian Keyes

I like Marian Keyes. Correction, I love Marian Keyes. Her writing, that is. And probably her too, if I was ever lucky enough to get to know her. It’s been said before… but I find her books brimming with empathy and the kind of dark humour that so often appeals to me. It’s as if, in drawing her characters, her own life, with all its ups and downs, is waiting just below the surface of the “fiction” to reveal itself, full of the hidden, twisted logic that so many of us resort to when our lives are less than stellar. There is a fairly universal appeal in the humour, the hidden compromises and the self-knowing deprecation.

I have read LSIGM before but, as is so often the case with good books I re-read, I have collected very different messages from it this time around. While ostensibly about a group of women who get their fortunes told and see them fulfilled, this is really a story about a woman’s coming of age. She is in her mid-twenties, when she realises that the role model her father offered as she was growing up was not supportive; and in order to break away from the usual, poor compromises she takes for granted, she has to see things as they are, and not as she would wish them to be.

I’m very glad I have read LSIGM now, because the deeper messages of self-worth and making the best of life, deserving to be happy and not settling for less, are what I need to hear right now. The more I read of this story, the more I gleaned of value until I was sitting totally engrossed, watching the emergence of a shy character from caterpillar-dom to full, glorious butterfly.

The psychology of this novel is gripping and very well observed. I have learned a lot from reading Ms Keyes’ novels, but this unassuming volume is my current champion for all oppressed persons everywhere. If you have issues around trying too hard, wanting to be all things to all people, addiction or co-dependence, take a gander through this funny, heart-warming story and you may find that at its heart it has more than sentiment. Highly recommended.

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